What Would You Like to See Here? Powell Avenue Market

The market/deli business inside what was once called "The Little Store" is for sale. Your thoughts and wishes?


Interest is building lately in what new business might come to roost at the former Powell Avenue Market at 555 Powell Ave., about a quarter-mile east of Healdsburg High School.

A "For Sale" sign went up about a month ago for the business portion of the venue. The building, which many locals have is not for sale.

"There've been quite a few people interested," said Century 21 NorthBay Alliance real estate agent Janice Torres, who, with her husband John Torres, is co-managing the listing. "We think there will be some news in the next week or two."

The Torreses received authorization to sell the business from the estate of the in January. She and her husband had purchased the market from the previous owners and were in the process of growing a small deli-market operation.

"We hope we will find someone to take it over," Janice Torres said. "This place has been a fixture in town since the '40s.

"All the people I know say that they miss it," she added. "It was nice for the kids to be able to stop by after school and get a sandwich."

Torres said the property is not zoned for a sit-down restaurant  -- only for deli-style food service. Anyone wanting to operate a regular restaurant would need a variance -- a permit that the neighbors would likely oppose since an eatery that was open at night would tend to generate noise and disruption, Torres said.

"It has to fit in with the neighborhood," she added. In addition to the business inventory, the sale price includes all remaining equipment, such as a freezer, tables and chairs and other food service and preparation items.

chef-owner of the popular Bistro Ralph restaurant in downtown Healdsburg, said he has toyed with the idea of buying the business and running a deli-style food service operation, but that it seemed to be "too complicated," he said.

"It was really challenging," Tingle said. "Plus, it was very expensive -- meaning high risk."

But Tingle said he hasn't ruled it out completely.

"People just love it," he said of the "Little Store." "It has tremendous support from the locals in town."

He said he was still looking at financial options and at whether he was willing to devote the time and energy commitment it would take to make it work.

"It has to line up correctly," he said. "I hope someone does something there -- otherwise, I will have to do it."

What do you wish someone would do there? Tell us in the comments.

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Christian Kallen October 18, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Since we live half a block from the Little Store, I have to take issue with Janice Torres - I don't think the neighbors would object to a well-run restaurant, as long as it had limited hours and scale. It'd give us someplace to go!
Igor October 18, 2012 at 09:47 PM
For what ever reason, I've always thought that a little boutique ice cream factory would be appropriate. A destination location for visitors, and something for the neighbors and resident of Healdsburg to frequent at the same time. But, a manufacturing use permit would be nixed before the application ever arrived to City Hall.
Christian Kallen October 19, 2012 at 03:20 PM
ICE CREAM! Used to be one downtown, but in the neighborhood is a great idea.


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